TrackTown 2012

Awhile back, I seriously considered going to Eugene to watch the Track & Field Olympic Trials, but I got cold feet.  As positive as I try to remain, going to watch my peers run hard, challenge themselves and their perfectly fit bodies against their greatest goals sounded like my own personal hell.  Incredible envy welled up every time I imagined watching from the sidelines.  I don't need to be there- as in competing at the Trials (track is not my specialty)- but I needed to be there- counted amongst the healthy, competitive runners setting and achieving goals.

Things changed around Memorial Day when I was cleared to ride a bike outside.  My very first ride was epic in every way.  I was SO excited and SO scared.  It was the first time I had to think about a workout since early January.  What was the weather like?  which way was the wind blowing?  what should I wear?  I had to watch for gravel, traffic, bumps, garbage, cyclists and runners.  It was so incredible that I grinned from ear to ear as if I'd just won the Exergy Tour the day before.

I continue to bike and I am getting better: stronger and more confident in my abilities.  I set little goals for speed, strength and stamina, hit them and then set another.  I am learning that cycling has a really strong mental correlation to running and I feel kind-of fit.  It's wonderful!

With this renewed joy in exercise, I also realized that I think I am ready to face my fear of the track trials.  I may not be in with the runners, but I am still an athlete and I feel it now.  I have a plan for Friday that I think will set me up for emotional success and it goes something like this:

#1: Exercise!  Release all of the physical and emotional tension.  Get the endorphins pumping.

#2: PST!  (Positive Self Talk for the 99% of you who were not on the Lincoln or Mead XC teams).

#3: Plan for the anxiety.  If I already know what it feels like when I see a runner feel sorry for me then it won't throw me off guard.  This should be easy at Hayward Field- just like my last injury 18 years ago when I broke my foot before the state meet. (18?  oh man... I wish that was an exaggeration)

#4: Finally, it's good to recognize what you have control over.  In my case, I don't have control over my foot, but I do have control over my athleticism.  I have control of my thoughts, my attitude.  I can keep smiling and staying positive.  Who knows who's watching and learning how to deal with their next injury?  Hopefully I can lead by example with a smile on my face.  Because if you don't laugh, you will absolutely cry.

So, track town, here I come!  See you on Friday....